Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing communities cater to families with loved ones who may be living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These and other types of neurological disorders can be difficult for a family to live with and to understand.
Interacting with an individual living with neurological disease can be stressful for all parties if approached too forcefully. Keep in mind that your loved one is still “yours,” you just have to know how to approach communication for a family member or friend with dementia. Here are six tips that will help make communication a comfortable experience.
1. Make Sure You Have Their Attention
Anyone can become distracted from a conversation when things like television or a podcast are on in the background. For someone living with dementia, you will want to limit distractions before starting your interaction.
Some ways to set a positive and calming mood are:
- Turning off appliances,
- Shut the door where you are talking,
- Draw in the curtains,
- Or simply move to a quieter area.
2. Keep The Conversation Simple
When starting a conversation, remember to keep the topics and questions simple. Asking questions that require simple yes or no answers is your best option. Asking too many questions or questions with open answers can lead to frustration in your loved one.
3. Always Remember to Be Patient
Patience is key when dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Let your loved one take his or her time to gather his or her thoughts and take in what you are saying. Also, don’t attempt to correct the minor inaccurate statements he or she may make. That is a quick way to end what could potentially be a fulfilling conversation for your Assisted Living community member.
4. Use Names in Conversation
Making use of specific names in conversation can help keep the interaction on track. Avoid using pronouns during a conversation.
“Hi, Grandma, it’s me, Richard,” is a more successful introduction than, “Hi, it’s us!”
5. Planning Activities? Break Them Down into Steps
Most visits result in the visitor performing daily tasks with their loved one. When you are discussing the tasks you plan on performing for the day, you can calmly remind your loved one of the steps that they may forget on a regular basis. By breaking down tasks into steps, your communication will become more direct and less likely to leave your loved one confused and frustrated if something goes wrong.
6. Remember That Senior Living Community Members Have Up and Down Days
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are progressive diseases, so consistency in how the disease shows during interactions will vary. Even though there is a decline in quality of life with these diseases, you must remember that there will be good days mixed in with the bad ones. This will help you to maintain a caring and affectionate approach each time that you attempt communication with your loved one.
Holly Hall Retirement Community Ensures Your Loved One Stays Social
If it is time for your loved one to enter into an Assisted Living community, Holly Hall is ready to welcome your family in with open arms. Our Christian retirement community has the qualified staff and experience to meet all of your loved one’s needs. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our Houston community.